Fred is looking out for the kids. I totally agree. When I was based in New York shooting I often received questions about gear from 21 year olds. They were living tenement style in Bushwyck, drinking PBR and eating ramen noodles, barely paying their phone bills. They are all convinced they need a MFD solution to shoot unpaid fashion editorials, so they can make it big in above the line advertising campaigns. The big bucks big megapixel camara is, they tell me, the hall pass to success.
I call bullshit on that. I advise them that they can get their book together on a shoestring, partner with good people who are also building their book, buy the cheapest full frame 35 digital camera or better yet, buy an RZ and three lenses. Buy both for less than $2k, used. In NYC you can find $4 a roll 120 C41 processing and $15 an hour X1 scanner time. If you need a DMF rent it for $500 a day and charge back to the client. Spend the money on production, lighting. I'd rather shoot a D200 with good lighting and high production values than an H5D-60 wiith bad lighting, bad makeup, wrong location, etc.
This is not a knock on MFD. If you can afford it along with quality production, go for it. The files are really nice under certain conditions. This is the reality of this increasingly unprofitable business, in spite of Blad's ad copy about True Professionals Shoot MFD. Since I work in adverstising now, doing strategy, in fact, I can visualize the white board in the Brand Strategist's office. It goes soemthng like this:
Challenge: 35mm is good, or at least good enough for most purposes. Shrinking market. Reality: Tight economy produces insecurity. MFD can be very different in look. Message: MFD is PROFESSIONAL, gives a leg up on competition. MFD is super high quality. Hasselblad = artists camera, professional camera. MFD = higher profit because you will be better positioned to get above the line ad jobs. 35mm not only lets down your client, who will never hire you again, but is also a betrayal of yourself.
So if you are ust starting out, or even a few years into it, be wise with your cash. If you can't make it as a pro shooter with a 35mm solution, you won't have better luck with a MFD solution. It will be the same, just biger and with more shadow noise.
I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea, I'm not attacking MF. I just feel terrible for these kids who meet financial ruin in their quest to be commercial shooters. If you are a commercial shooter, choose what you want. You know your business, your style, etc. If you are a landscape guy and can afford it, rock on.